With Thanksgiving solidly in the rearview mirror, now is the time to plan for your next family dinner. Did you know that nearly 50 percent of all families in Houston will have at least one family member at the dinner table with hearing loss? Now that you know, you’ll probably want to do everything you can to make them feel comfortable. The audiologists at the Center for Hearing have put together a list of what can be done to make sure everyone feels included and the party is a success.
Those watching a sporting event (this time of year that usually includes people watching a Texans game) and kids create the most amount of noise. Try setting up rooms specifically for these events. The kids’ room can have various games and toys while the sports room will need a television. Now the kids (and kids at heart) can make as much noise as they want without interfering with the rest of the party.
Setting the Dining Room
Once the noise-makers have been separated from the main party area, it is time to think about the rest of your guests. Some of the best conversations take place at the dinner table. Your Houston audiologist recommends the following:
- Turning off (or at least turning down) the holiday music during the meal. While it helps set the mood, it is also just additional background noise that needs to be filtered out.
- Removing centerpieces and candles from the table. While these additions are beautiful, they are unnecessary obstacles to those who rely on lip reading.
- Keeping the house, and specifically the dining room, as bright as possible. You can achieve this by closing the curtains and bringing in extra floor lamps to light the room.
- Making a seating plan in advance to accommodate those with hearing loss. You should seat those with hearing loss away from the kids’ tables and the kitchen. They should also be positioned at the end of the table so they can see everyone clearly.
- Waiting to clear the dishes until everyone is done eating will help create less background noise.
If you follow your Houston audiologist’s tips you will be sure to throw a party that even your judgmental in-laws will be proud of.